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How a jetsetting accountant stole half a MILLION dollars from her boss to fund her lavish lifestyle before a bizarre out-of-the-blue confession landed her in jail

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 30/06/2020 Australian Associated Press

a close up of a man and a woman taking a selfie: Victorian woman Donna Zanin (pictured) has been jailed after stealing more than $500,000 from fast food chain Schnitz while she worked as a financial controller © Provided by Daily Mail Victorian woman Donna Zanin (pictured) has been jailed after stealing more than $500,000 from fast food chain Schnitz while she worked as a financial controller After realising she was about to be caught for stealing more than $500,000 from her employer, Donna Zanin went to police and confessed.  

Her bizarre and out-of-the-blue admissions prompted questions from them about her mental state, and she admitted she sounded insane.

But after four years living an extravagant lifestyle of fancy dinners and jetsetting, her plan to 'ruin her life' had come to fruition.

She expected to go to jail and she was ready for it.

On Tuesday, the final piece of her unusual plan fell into place when she was ordered to serve more than a year behind bars in Victoria over thefts she didn't even try to hide.

Zanin, 42, started stealing from fast food chain Schnitz, where she was a financial controller, in November 2014 and continued until January last year.

Despite already taking home a six-figure salary, she transferred sums of cash directly from Schnitz's bank accounts to her own.

The sums ranged from $2000 to $20,000. Over time she stole more than $551,000 from the company.

She was made redundant in a company restructure in 2018 but hired back on a contract basis.

The hiring of a second qualified accountant, and checks over the company's books, brought the suspicious transactions to light.

As her contract came to an end in mid-2018, she offered to help reconcile the company's accounts, but her boss suspected she had something to do with the unusual transactions.

a sign above a store: Zanin, 42, started stealing Schnitz (a Sxchnitz restaurant pictured), from November 2014 and continued until January last year © Provided by Daily Mail Zanin, 42, started stealing Schnitz (a Sxchnitz restaurant pictured), from November 2014 and continued until January last year Zanin (pictured snorkeling near Cairns) gave police her passport, showing 34 international trips funded by her thievery and admitted she had been 'enacting a plan to ruin my life' © Provided by Daily Mail Zanin (pictured snorkeling near Cairns) gave police her passport, showing 34 international trips funded by her thievery and admitted she had been 'enacting a plan to ruin my life'

Knowing she was close to being caught, Zanin went straight to police and admitted what she'd done.

At the same time she sent a text message to her boss confessing her crimes.

County Court Judge David Sexton on Tuesday said she'd been waiting to be caught and gave officers a detailed narrative of events.

She told them she wanted to steal an extreme amount, knowing she would be caught.

a woman taking a selfie: Zanin (pictured) has been ordered to serve two years and three months behind bars, but will become eligible for parole after a year and four months © Provided by Daily Mail Zanin (pictured) has been ordered to serve two years and three months behind bars, but will become eligible for parole after a year and four months Zanin gave police her passport, showing 34 international trips funded by her thievery and admitted she had been 'enacting a plan to ruin my life'.

She wanted to spend time in jail, she said.

Judge Sexton said Zanin's offending had significantly affected the family business and was a significant breach of trust.

She took no steps to hide what she had done, said the judge, who added that she had shown significant remorse.

She has been ordered to serve two years and three months behind bars, but will become eligible for parole after a year and four months.


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